QUEEN OF PEACE PARISH
21 Years as a Parish
Five decades as a Church
54 Years of Service to the Filipino-Chinese Community
The Humble Beginning: The Chinese Catholic Center
When Msgr. Manuel Yap, himself of Chinese descent, became Bishop of Bacolod, he took steps to bridge the psychological gap between the Filipinos and the Chinese. This occurred in the 1950 's when thousands of Chinese were escaping from their homeland as the communist forces, after their takeover of China in 1949, started their era of persecution, especially of Christians. The Philippines, for humanitarian reason, accepted refugees, some of whom came to Negros.
The Bishop thus planned to have Chinese missionaries to work among the Chinese in Negros. He requested the St. Joseph's Seminary in Manila to send Chinese priests to his diocese. Fortunately, two priests who came to the Philippines as seminarians in 1949 were available - Fr. Joseph Wang and Fr. Peter Tsang. They were asked to work here and in 1954, they came to Negros. They were first assigned as assistants of Msgr. Antonio Y. Fortich, parish priest of Bacolod, who is also of Chinese descent. The two pioneers immediately went to work and found that the field needed more workers. Efforts were then made to bring in more Chinese priests. Thus a year later, Fr. John B. Liu and Fr. James Liu came over.
Slowly but steadily, the pioneers, working shoulder to shoulder with their Filipino brethren, brought out the Chinese into active participation in the Christian community. As more and more of them became active, Fr. John B. Liu initiated the organization of the Chinese Catholics in order to coordinate and harmonize their work. His efforts gave birth to the Chinese Catholic Association which was headed by Mr. Benjamin Lopue, a well-known businessman in Bacolod and Mrs. Teresita Poon. One thing led to another. The Chinese Catholic Youth was organized among the teenagers at the time when the Student Catholic Action was at its height. It was followed by the Legion of Mary.
The area around Capitol Subdivision has grown tremendously. One of the groups that converged there was the Chinese Community after the disastrous fire in 1955 that gutted the commercial center of Bacolod City.
Don Alfredo Montelibano, Sr. was approached with the idea of a Chinese Catholic Center. The former governor, a donor of several hectares of land to different schools and religious institutions, gave a half hectare lot near the newly opened Capitol Shopping Center. The Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of Faith which granted the request of Bishop Yap to open a Chinese mission did not only approve the proposal but also sponsored it.
Hence, on May 9, 1957 the Center was inaugurated by Msgr. Yap with then Governor Alfredo Montelibano Jr. cutting the ceremonial ribbon. The two-storey structure that was inaugurated in 1957 now houses the St. John's Institute elementary library on the ground floor and the priests' residence at the second floor.